Choi missed the minimum ten games for a sprained left ankle. He is a key cog in the middle of the Rays lineup. With little margin for error in a top-heavy American League, the Rays could stand to get a little more production from him after a .266/.351/.423 first half.
For now, manager Kevin Cash will rotate Choi with Nate Lowe, tweets Topkin. Lowe would most naturally be used as a roster replacement for Choi, but Cash is also prepared to use Lowe at third base, where he’s spent time in the minors. For now, they simply don’t want to take Lowe out of the lineup as the 24-year-old has hit .291/.355/.509 with 3 home runs in 15 games. That kind of production out of the first base spot would go a long way in helping the Rays secure a spot in this year’s playoffs.
With the Rays, however, everything is fluid, and one day’s cleanup hitter could be back in Triple-A the next. Yandy Diaz also figures to play a prominent role in the corner infield rotation as the regular starter at third now that he’s discovered a power stroke (.278/.351/.477 on the year). Two other third base options remain on the shelf: Matt Duffy and Daniel Robertson are close enough to returning that each of them could be on rehab assignments by next week, per Topkin (Twitter links).
Gibaut has a fairly high ceiling as a bullpen piece, but his first taste of the majors was short: one appearance, two innings, two earned runs, two walks, two strikeouts, one hit.